Italy became a nation-state belatedly - in 1861 when the city-states of the peninsula and Sicily were united under King Victor EMMANUEL. The Fascist dictatorship of Benito MUSSOLINI that took over after World War I led to a disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany and Italian defeat in World War II. Revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC) and joined the growing political and economic unification of Western Europe, including the introduction of the euro in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, the ravages of organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the more prosperous north. - U.S. CIA World Factbook


Ita-Autoblindata-LanciaIZ.jpg (20676 bytes)---Autoblinda Lancia I.Z.
Autoblinda Lancia I.Z.

The I.Z. was built by Ansaldo on the Lancia I.Z. light truck chassis. The original version, of which 20 were built in 1915, was armed with three 6.5mm machine guns, two being mounted in a large roof turret, and the third being monted in a smaller turret on top of the main turret. The Maxim MGs were replaced by 8mm St. Etienne MGs eventually and the third MG was placed in the rear of the hull with the topmost turret elimated. A feature of this AC was the wire cutting rails located on the front of the car. At the outbreak of WW2, this AC could still be found in Italian East Africa and Libya.

Specifications
Crew 6
Weight 8140 lbs
Length 17' 8.66"
Width 6'
Height  7' 10" (early model)
Range 186 miles
Armor 6 - 13mm
Armament 3 x 8mm St. Etienne MG
Engine Lancia 25-35hp 4cyl Gasoline
Performance 37 mph

British Morris CS9
British Morris CS9

Italian soldiers with a captured British Armored Car.


Autoblindata Fiat 611---Note the uniforms of the police organization Corpo Degli Agenti Di Pubblica Sicurezza (Public Security Corps). ---Operating in Italian East Africa.
Autoblinda Fiat 611

Once again a newer armored car design was placed on an existing truck chassis as was done on the successful Lancia I.Z. model. Looking like a tandem axel Lancia I.Z., this vehicle was a new design, not an update. In 1934 Fiat began to produe an armored car based on the Fiat Dovunque 32 tandem axel military truck. The vehicle was not an all wheel drive as only the rear 4 tires actually had power going to them. This vehicle was rather underpowered and proved to be terribly slow. This vehicle saw service in East Africa and Ethiopia.

Specifications
Crew 5
Weight 6.9 tons
Length 18' 7"
Width 6' 1"
Height 8' 8"
Engine Fiat 6cyl. Gasoline, 45hp
Performance 28 kmh (road) 9kmh (cross country)
Range 280 km
Armament 2 x MG, 1 x 37mm gun
Armor 6-15mm

Autoblindata AB 40 prototype---Autoblindata AB 40 prototype
Autoblinda AB 40

The AB 40 was developed by Spa and Ansaldo at the time of the Spanish Civil War to replace the aging Lancia I.Z. armored car. The first prototype was tested in mid 1939. The vehicle had a number of unique features - especially in it's steering and suspension. The car had a 4 wheel drive and all wheels, which had independent springs, were steerable. The AB 40 could be driven in either direction using it's dual steering system. The wheels on the hull sides were actually spares but were mounted in a "free wheeling" way that allowed them to aid in crossing obstacles. The vehicle was assigned to cavalry and reconnaissance elements of armored and motorized divisions.

Specifications
Crew 4
Weight 6.85 tons
Length 17' 1"
Width 6' 4"
Height 8'
Engine Fiat 6cyl. Gasoline, 80hp
Performance 76 kmh (road) 30kmh (cross country)
Range 400 km
Armament 3 x 8mm MG
Armor 9mm

Autoblindata AB 41---AB40/41 suspension---Autoblindata AB 41---Autoblindata AB 41---Autoblinda AB 41
Autoblinda AB 41

The AB 41 was, apart from appearance, a modification and improvement on the AB 40. The largest change was the increase in firepower. Produced in greater numbers than it's sisters AB 40 and AB 43, this car became the most important Armored Car in the Italian inventory. After the Italian surrender, RSI elements used this vehicle and when peace arrived, police units took control of the remaining numbers. This vehicle saw service in North Africa, Italy, Hungary, and the USSR.

Specifications
Crew 4
Weight 7.4 tons
Length 17' 1"
Width 6' 4"
Height 8' 2"
Engine Fiat 6cyl. Gasoline, 88hp
Performance 78 kmh (road)
Range 400 km
Armament 1 x 8mm MG, 1 x 20mm Gun
Armor 9mm

Ita-AB43.JPG (30373 bytes)---Ita-AB43-1.JPG (35221 bytes)
Autoblinda AB 43

The final version of the Spa-Ansaldo armored cars was the AB 43 (introduced in 1943). The most significant change was the same as the AB 41 and that was armament. The new version packed a 47mm gun and a much needed boost in horse power. Only limited numbers were made prior to the Italian surrender. RSI units used the few units that were made. This vehicle never deployed outside of Italy.

Specifications
Crew 4
Weight 7.47 tons
Length 17' 3"
Width 7' 8"
Height 7' 11"
Engine Fiat 6cyl. Gasoline, 110hp
Performance 90 kmh (road) 37 kmh (off road)
Range 535 km
Armament 2 x 8mm MG, 1 x 47mm Gun
Armor 8.5 - 22mm

Autoblinda Lince
Autoblinda Lince

This was a nearly exact copy of the British Daimler Dingo 4 x 4 scout car. It was produced by Lancia after the Italo-Allied armistice and was used by the RSI. 250 units were made.

Specifications
Crew 2
Weight 3.14 tons
Length 10' 6"
Width 5' 8"
Height 5' 4"
Engine 8cyl. Gasoline, 60hp
Performance 86 kmh (road)
Range 350 km
Armament 2 x 8mm MG, 1 x 47mm Gun
Armor 8.5 - 14mm

Camionetta 42 Sahariana AS 42---Camionetta 42 Sahariana AS 42
Camionetta 42 Sahariana AS 42

An unusual but highly successful vehicle derived from the AB 41 with some improved features as found in the AB43. Primarily a reconnaissance vehicle designed for operations in North Africa, this car would see service in a variety of other roles including persuit of raiding parties and behind the line operations. The vehicle was commonly known as La Sahariana and was equipped with a variety of armament ranging from 20mm AA guns, 13.2 heavy machine guns, 20mm Solothurn anti-tank guns, to finally a 37mm anti-tank gun. Local improvisions occured as well. This vehicle was used by RSI paratrooper elements after the Italian surrender.

Specifications
Crew 2 - 3 (depending on the mission)
Weight 4 tons
Length 18' 10"
Width 7'
Height 6'
Range 800 km
Armament Varied

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Last Update: Thursday, February 13, 2003